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Carlos Caro's page

Goblinworks Executive Founder. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. 110 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.



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Add Case: $511.68 $399.99

Add Brick: $127.92 $114.99

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A very disappointing set

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If you're like me, you've never said the following sentence.

"Boy, I can't wait for the players to encounter the angry barn owls and goats in this adventure."

And that sums up what makes this a one-star set.

Incidentally, if you have said that sentence, most likely you should learn to read silently, but thank you for reading my review.

See, there are three questions I ask myself of any set of minis I'm interested in. Those three questions are:

1) How does the mini set look?
2) How useful is this set to my games?
3) Do the answers to 1 and 2 justify the price?

Let's answer those questions with regards to this set, shall we?

Question 1. Compared to Wizkids work on the other mini sets, this set looks mediocre at best. Few color contrasts and bright designs are available. The Russian soldiers look so bland, generic dollar store army guys would look better. The maftet are brown on brown on brown with no interesting contrasts. The various nosferatu tend to come off sloppy when they don't come off as grey on gray. Compared to the earlier, far more interesting elementals in, say, RotRL, the ice elementals and golems just look boring - blue plastic drybrushed with white. Faces are sloppy on most of the humanoids. Even the centaurs, one of the most useful models in the set, are dull brown-on-brown with a design that is uninspiring at best. General Malesinder, who should be a simply awesome model, comes off with such dull colors and such a staid color scheme that he's boring - and his model is a bipedal, sword-wielding, large dragon. He's just a grey lump with some cadet blue highlights. Yawn. At least he's not as boring as Rasputin, whose black coat, dark grey pants, dark beard, dark red clothing interior, and sloppy skin coloration make him absolutely a chore to look at. Feiya's face was a splattered mess of that terrible peach color which is supposed to be a skin tone. I had to look closely to see that the catoblepas actually incorporated two colors in its design. It is a flat brown with tusks and hooves highlighted with an unsaturated shade of tan. Needless to say, the effect is ugly and uninspiring. The Russian Soldier is dark grey and silver. The Russian Machine Gunner is dark grey and skin color. Both are eyesores. Finally, the warriors and named characters were so dull I'm having trouble remembering what they were called - and that says all you need to know about how forgettable they were.

There's just a dull, messy, boring aesthetic here coupled with a serious fall-off in quality from earlier sets. Really, the ice trolls were the only models that look pleasing to the eye. They're hands down the best in this set, which sadly would make them middle of the pack for the better sets like RotRL.

Now question 2 is where this set falls apart. Less molds are supposed to drive down costs, but this is still a four hundred dollar set with a subscript. Now, I am sympathetic to real world concerns, but I still want value. I want minis that I might use for something. The Russian Soldier and Russian Machine Gunner are not very useful to me, since I have no intention to run RoW, but they are an integral part of the adventure path and had to be there. What makes no sense is making me pay for goats. My case contained five each of foxes, owls, falcons, goats, and ravens. That's twenty five models I paid for that could be replaced with the barn animals from my local crafts store. That's twenty five models which could have been creatures from the adventure path, warriors, witches, skeletons - in short, twenty five models that are of almost no use in creating an adventure. Can I create an adventure where I use those minis? Sure, if I need to. Could they be familiars or shape-changed imps? Of course. Does that mean that what I look forward to when opening a case of fantasy figurines is a raven and a goat? Hell no. The decision to include those models is a blunder nearly as bad as not thinking through the color scheme of your models before beginning the run. I'm angry that I have now spent money to get those silly farm animal figurines.

Deciding to include these figures was a huge waste. Consider the male and female ice troll, the centaurs, even the ugly General Malesinder. Those models are useful. Nothing would stop me from using any of them in another game. Some models, such as the wollipeds, are of limited use. I might have to think about how or why such a creature might fit in designing an adventure. The barn animals are of almost no use, and I paid for them, and Paizo wants $3.50 for them as singles.

So question three: can I say this set was worth the four hundred I paid?

Not at all.


Our Price: $29.99

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One of the best products out there

****( )

HeroLab is one of the best products which you can purchase or find for character creation. It is capable of creating characters quickly for any number of RPGs. With its sister product Army Builder (for those of us who like wargames), it's been a staple for making and designing games. You could almost copy and paste my comments here into a review of Army Builder, so if you also play table wargames, give it a look. What I say about PF applies to pretty much all of the game systems contained in Hero Lab.

The Good: The interface is very intuitive regardless of which game system you are running. The product almost never has any clash between its rulesets. From Call of Cthulhu to Pathfinder to (new) World of Darkness, it almost never has a hang-up because of the game system.

The product is able to output its data sets into a variety of formats, including PDFs.

The variability which you can use when making characters is almost mind-blowing. Pretty much every Pathfinder product is loaded into the PF section, for example. If your character concept will need you to pull from Ultimate Combat, Cheliax, and Bestiary 3 along with the Core Rulebook, HeroLab will do it seamlessly. If as a player or GM you wish to impose certain house rules, you can. If you wish to restrict which source books are available, it takes a few clicks of the mouse.

Hero Lab will automatically check the Rules As Written validity of a character, which can be very helpful. You are not forced to have a valid character, however, which can be a godsend when the GM just wants to craft an NPC who bends the rules. The product will highlight areas of the game where you have yet to develop an NPC or character and will highlight invalid options.

There is a "use HeroLab to modify your character in play" option, but see below.

The Bad: The output formats are not only a bit limited, but they tend to have some weird issues where the spacing of text leads to text falling on top of text into an unreadable smudge. This tends to occur in more "numbery" games like PF and tends to make high level characters' sheets a bit ugly. The character sheets are highly standardized with almost no options to format them. It's certainly not a deal-breaker. Naturally, the sheets are printed off, so they're tough to edit, but they do have tracks for tracked resources. One option is to put the sheet in a page protector and make changes with dry/wet erase markers, but you'll still need to reprint everything when you level up or just acquire a new, traceable resource.

Characters with a lot of spells have the option of preparing their spell list (spell book or spells memorized) in a separate file which can be printed off as well. This sounds nice, but the time to generate that PDF can be absurdly long. The PC I'm running this program on is a high-end gaming laptop, and even it can sit there, using almost none of its resources but taking several minutes just to slap together a PDF list of spells.

This is my personal opinion here, but I despise products which put a screen up between the players and the GM where the players track their characters. (GMs having a laptop at the table off to the side, to consult, is not as bad.) HeroLab does something very bad (tracking your character in a program) very well. Really, invest ten minutes or a few dollars in condition cards.

The Ugly: Development. You'd think the ability to drop in your own custom creations would be nothing but a boon, but you'd be wrong. Clunky doesn't begin to describe it. The documentation is of little help. Good luck.

Lastly, remember all that content mentioned above? You have to purchase it. For example, let's say you just want "Core" Pathfinder: The Core Rulebook, APG, UC, UM, and the Bestiaries. The three Bestiaries together will in a discounted bundle cost you $30, while each of the non-Core Rulebook books will be another $10. "Core Pathfinder" alone has a -real- price of the listed price here + $60 USD. While I believe that price is worth it to me, that's my opinion and I can't help but feel that consumers are NOT being shown an "honest" price up front. That's not ugly. That's just mean.



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